Sunday, February 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays shut down Cobb to deal with fatigue, mechanical issues

DENVER — The Rays decided to give RHP Alex Cobb more time now to deal with arm fatigue and mechanical issues to make sure he doesn't run out of time at the back end of his rehab from Tommy John surgery.

The Rays returned Cobb from his rehab assignment and essentially stopped the 30-day clock, thus, given a mandatory seven-day wait, postponing his next start until at least Monday. Cobb left his second rehab start July 11 after one inning, so he will go at least two full weeks between games. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today at the Trop, then possibly a live batting practice next.

"He's had some fatigue issues in his arm, and that, along with working with his mechanics, we felt this was the right time to do it," manager Kevin Cash said. "We want to make sure he gets his full rehab and can work through the process at his pace a little bit."

The pause can last as long as needed, with Cobb then starting a new 30-day window, pushing his targeted return back to at least mid August. After the 30 days, a player has to either be activated (and could be optioned to the minors) or returned to the DL.

The Rays and Cobb say there is no concern of injury.

FAMILIAR LOOK: With CF Kevin Kiermaier returning Friday and INF Steve Pearce being activated Tuesday from the DL, the Rays lineup is starring to look whole again.

"Obviously there are some more guys we need to get healthy, but we're getting closer to the lineup and the options maybe that we envisioned coming out of spring training," Cash said. "The secret that we really don't know how to do is keep them on the field — hopefully we will figure that out."

Pearce was in the lineup playing first base Tuesday, the game delayed more than two hours due to rain, with first pitch at 10:41 Tampa Bay time.

SMYLY A GO: LHP Drew Smyly's frustration over another poor outing showed a bit in the dugout tunnel Monday night, with a broken bat a day-after residual.

But Cash said there is no plan, or even discussion, about dropping Smyly from the rotation despite his 2-11 record and 5.64 ERA that is the highest of all major-leaguers with at least 90 innings.

"Actually we talked to Drew (Tuesday), checked in, we had a good conversation," Cash said. "Drew is trying to work through this. He knows he's in a funk. At different parts of the season, I think different things have kind of left him, different pitches that he hasn't been able to find. … We're excited to get his work in and to see him back out there Saturday in Oakland."

NICK OF TIME: The decision to create roster space for Steve Pearce's return by sending down INF Nick Franklin, rather than, say, INF Tim Beckham, appeared rooted in playing time.

In short, Franklin will get more of it with Triple-A Durham, including additional work in the outfield to continue his development into a superutility player, than he would in the majors, especially with Pearce and Kiermaier back.

"Right now we're getting a little crunched in the outfield, and finding him time in the infield would be difficult, also," Cash said.

REHAB REPORT: The reports on RHPs Brad Boxberger (oblique) and Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) were good from their first rehab outings Monday, Cash said. Boxberger will pitch Thursday for the advanced Class A Stone Crabs, Whitley likely Saturday.

MISCELLANY: 3B Evan Longoria hit a massive homer in the fourth Tuesday, estimated at 462 feet. … Longoria had his first career two-triple game in Monday's 7-4 loss. He is the first player since the Rockies' Larry Walker in 1996 to have back-to-back multi-homer and multi-triple games. … OF Brandon Guyer, thanks to an instant replay review, was hit by a pitch Monday for his MLB-leading 21st time. … The Rays' 4-25 run was the worst 29-game stretch by an AL team since the 2011 Twins. … Kiermaier marveled at how the ball carried in the Denver altitude and said he would adjust his routes accordingly.

Comments
On what Odorizzi has to feel good and bad about after trade from Rays to Twins

On what Odorizzi has to feel good and bad about after trade from Rays to Twins

Two things were pretty clear in talking to RHP Jake Odorizzi this morning in Fort Myers about being traded from the Rays to Twins.He couldn't be much happier than to be a new that that has legitimate playoff aspirations, and that he feels for those h...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

As the Rays head back to Fort Myers today for a game on the other side of I-75 to take on the Twins at 1:05, there are several spring debuts worth noting:First, that LHP Jonny Venters, trying to make it back to the majors for the first time since 201...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Andrew Toles made a two-base error and went 0-for-3, and his team lost. All told, it was still a pretty good day for the Dodgers left fielder.In his first game since a serious knee injury last May, the former Rays prospect ret...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Inside the Rays’ plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

Inside the Rays’ plan to prove the tanking truthers wrong

PORT CHARLOTTE – The Rays know tanking."We tanked in 2006 and '07, if you want to call it that," principal owner Stuart Sternberg said. "We were the original tankers. Or tankees. It seems to be all the fad now."In losing 101 and 96 games in the...
Published: 02/24/18
Rays Journal: Duffy not just playing but playing well, Faria struggles, more

Rays Journal: Duffy not just playing but playing well, Faria struggles, more

FORT MYERS – Just playing on back-to-back days was significant for Rays 3B Matt Duffy.Playing well has made the start of spring training even better."Really liked the way Duffy has continued to play," manager Kevin Cash said after a 4-3 loss to...
Published: 02/24/18
That guy standing by Cash in the dugout? All part of Rays’ plan

That guy standing by Cash in the dugout? All part of Rays’ plan

Jonathan ErlichmanFor a moment Friday, it looked as if a young businessman, accountant or computer guy had won one of those charity auctions to spend a game in uniform in the Rays dugout.Actually, it was Rays analytics director Jonathan Erlichman, a ...
Published: 02/24/18
For starters: Back to back starts for Duffy as Rays face Red Sox, 1:05

For starters: Back to back starts for Duffy as Rays face Red Sox, 1:05

UPDATE, 11:36: Manager Kevin Cash said the plan is to play Duffy on back to back days a couple times early in spring, believing the short bursts of activity will best help him build up after missing all of 2017. … Matt Andriese will come out of...
Published: 02/24/18
The truth about the Tampa Bay Rays’ reset

The truth about the Tampa Bay Rays’ reset

The Tampa Bay Rays are not going to be very good this year.We already knew that.They have gutted a team that won 80 games last season. Among those sent packing: Evan Longoria, Corey Dickerson, Jake Odorizzi and team MVP Steven Souza Jr.Yeah, this thi...
Published: 02/24/18
Rays spring training info: Saturday at Red Sox, 1:05

Rays spring training info: Saturday at Red Sox, 1:05

Rays Saturday scheduleAt Red Sox1:05, JetBlue Park, 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort MyersPitchers: Rays – RH Jake Faria, RH Matt Andriese, RH Dustin McGowan, LH Ryan Yarbrough, RF Chaz Roe, LH Jose Alvarado, RH Evan Scribner, RH Jose Mujica; Red...
Published: 02/24/18
Impact of Tommy John surgery cuts deeply for Brent Honeywell, Rays

Impact of Tommy John surgery cuts deeply for Brent Honeywell, Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE – Two things that tell you a lot about Rays cocksure top prospect Brent Honeywell given Friday's crushing news that he indeed tore a ligament in his prized right arm and is headed for Tommy John surgery that will sideline him wel...
Published: 02/23/18